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The Gym, Me, and IBD

It’s 4am and I’m just getting home from the gym. This was my first time going back in a while. I honestly can’t remember the last time I worked this hard in the gym, but it felt amazing. I didn’t know how my body would take it. I’ve been in pretty good health, but with my body, you honestly never know. Because I have a j-pouch, I get a little hesitant when it comes to certain workouts. Even though my surgeon has assured me time and time again, I’m still very concerned about the well-being of my pelvic pouch. I used a few machines that forced me to exercise my abdominal area. At the moment, it felt fine. It’s been over an hour and it still feels fine so I think it’s safe to say I survived.

Today I found my workout amazing

I know I won’t always feel this way. I know there will be times when I can’t work out at all, but for now, I’m going to enjoy this feeling. The feeling of a joyous exhaustion. The feeling of a healthy, tiresome workout. Although I haven’t been to the gym, I’m still very grateful that I’m able to be active. I know what it’s like to be bed bound. I’ve lived many days (essentially) trapped in the hospital. It sucks. Whenever I’m feeling bratty or unappreciative, I remind myself of those days. How hard they were to get through and how easily they can come back. That honestly played a big roll in why I decided to go to the gym at all today.

It’s somewhat of a double edge sword

I know exercise and how you treat and feed your body really plays a roll in overall health. For “normal” or healthy people, it’s black and white. But for those of us living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, all of it is much easier said than done. In fact, we can do everything “right” and our bodies will still work against us. This is why I haven’t been to the gym in so long. It can be so frustrating living with autoimmune diseases, mentally and physically. It’s hard to stay motivated to do the right thing when at random it may pay off or at random it may not pay off. And there are even times when it can make things worse or cause complications (ie: post surgery, bed rest, ect.)!

The effects of my condition

Even though I was able to participate today, I could still feel the effects of my condition. I’m easy to tire and dehydration is almost a constant issue in my life. Those of us living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease work extra hard to do everyday things that most healthy people take for granted. I knew that going in. I’ve known that just about my entire life, but I refuse to let it stop me. Although these moments are extra hard on us, taking them on is so much more rewarding. It really leaves you with a feeling of accomplishment.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.